Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Fungus Attack!

I have recently read Jeff Vandermeer's book Shriek, which is - among other things, about the horrible effects of fungus moving in on a city and its people. Definitely not nice stuff to think about (although the book itself is a good read).

So I finished Shriek, put it down - and get attacked by fungus. Yuk. Apparently as a result of getting water in my ear back on that nice beach holiday I had with my daughter, and supplying the spores with a nutritious environment to grow in... It's just as well I couldn't actually see inside my ear or I would probably have really freaked out.

Anyway, when I start losing my hearing and having pain in my ear, I trot along to a doctor, who completely misdiagnoses the culprit and gives me antibiotic drops. I guess the fungus loves antibiotics, because it throve on the diet and cheerfully produced spores, and more little fungi to grow into big fungi. By this time, I was climbing the walls. My tinnitus had revved up to the noise level of a jet plane about to take off, the fungi felt as though they have taken over my brain - either that or stuffed it full of cotton wool - and the antibiotic altered my system to such a degree that I ended up with thrush in places I don't really want to mention.

I began to think Jeff's book was jinxed. Or booby-trapped, or something. (He posted it to me, so....hmmm...)

And through all this, I am trying to finish off an-over-the-deadline manuscript and get a start on an environmental project and stop, um, shrieking at my husband because I feel so rotten.

Anyway, I eventually get the thing properly diagnosed and start putting in drops. Kills off fungus, but by this time there is so much stuff in my ear - half a bottle of antibiotics, half a bottle of fungicide and a dead fungal orchard - that I can't hear a thing, expect of course the tinnitus, which is now around the noise level of a continually exploding volcanic eruption. Moreover, the cotton wool feeling has invaded every part of my skull until I was sure I'd been in the hands of a taxidermist.

So yesterday I trot off to see a specialist. Who - bless him - syringes my ear and pronounces me cured. The cotton wool disappeared, I can hear, 75% of the tinnitus vanishes, all in the space of two seconds, and I am so grateful I almost dance on the doctor's desk.

And I trot along to the hospital pharmacy to pick up a tube of medicine.
Which the pharmicist tells me to put in my eye.
I am not sure whether it was because she misread the label as "Optic" drops when it actually read "Otic", or whether her English was so poor she said eye when she meant ear.
Just as well I didn't follow that advice, because I see that the instructions warn: 'Keep away from the eyes". Hmmm........

Now all I have to deal with is the thrush, which is refusing to vanish.

8 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh, dear, I'm sorry, but all through that I had images of you with a giant mushroom on the side of your head. SORRY! ;)

I can completely sympathise with your plight. When I was younger, I was highly suseptable to ear infections. They often got so bad my entire ear canals would swell up and block off all noise. If both ears went at once, I was deaf for a week.

Hope the fungus stays away and that the thrush (which, according to the Doug Anthony Allstars, is Latin for 'to escape from bushes' (and if you know who DAAS are, you will officially be my idol for life)) disappears soon.

Cheers, Lisa.

hrugaar said...

Ouch! And sympathise about the tinnitus - my mother suffers from that a lot. :o\

Trouble is, the way you write about the fungus is well on the way to a really good scary short story already. :o)

(I'm avoiding humourous quips about thrush and birders, guess now isn't the best time for that.)

ink paw prints said...

aww *hands you chocolate*

(no clue if you like chocolate, lol, but it's what I say to my friends if they're having a tough time)

just think about how great it's going to feel to be completely healthy again :D

gl getting rid of the thrush... had it for the first time a couple of weeks ago... I know your pain >.<

Glenda Larke said...

Is there a female writer on earth who doesn't like chocolate? Ink paws, I am putting up the theme thingy on Sunday, so watch for it.

ink paw prints said...

nice, looking forwards to it. If I don't look at it immediately it's cos I have an essay due on Monday :)

KarenEMiller said...

Oh gross. And hugs. Big big hugs. I shall hug NY for you too, when I get there.

Anonymous said...

my Dad has had tinnitis in his ears for years from a stay in Panama/phillipines nothing has ever worked. What eardrops did you use that worked. Would really appreciate knowing!! Nothing's worked. Thanks,

Glenda Larke said...

Anon: Well, I don't think the eardrops I used actually cured the tinnitus. They cured the fungus, and gradually the tinnitus disappeared as the ear settled down.

It seems to me that a lot of people have tinnitus for life. I know my mother had it, and she used to always leave the radio on because she said she didn't notice the tinnitus if there was music playing.

The eardrops came from India or Thailand, where I gather fungus in ears is common. It is called Candid eardrops. It was cheap and much more effective than the expensive western stuff I was given at first. The active ingredient is Clotrimazole.